Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Catching up on my Vacation/Scouting - Mission Days 1-3 in the Bay Area

I have had a wonderful few days in San Francisco, and because of that I have been quite remiss in my blogging... but all for a good cause. I have MORE pictures, and I get to introduce friends in pictures who have not been featured visually but have made their respective debuts before.

First off are Jane and Jason, whose home has been mine as well since I arrived on the 30th, and who will be featured in their own "plus bunnies" post when I get home. However, for now... here is a wonderful picture of the two of them overlooking the Pacific:

Setting Sun For a Couple

Jason was a champ. He may have even turned me on to watching football and finding some intellectual stimulation from it to override my disinterest. The sociological angle is just what I needed. I'm not saying I'll watch every week, but I will read the sports news more often. Thanks, Jason.

My first day up here was spent walking around the neighborhood Jane and Jason are privileged to live in. Wow. What a beautiful neighborhood, amazingly only one block from Golden Gate Park and a scant few more than that from the beach, which is where the above shot was grabbed. Yes, that's a bird in the middle, but an accidental one....

The tour of Golden Gate Park was quite nice. It has enough country to appeal to that part of my soul, and enough city to make it feel urbane as well. Some of the highlights to perhaps pause and look at include the horse we visited at the stables, the bison, and a raven. I also fooled around with catching a fishing line in mid-cast, which Jason actually was doing first but I had to try.

After a long trip through the park, including a little free entertainment (a reggae concert which was quite well done) and a visit for batteries, we headed to the coast. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful:

As if to end our day on mystical note, a beautiful dog kept flying down the beach and into the water, drawing my shutterbug out and challenging me not to take a picture When I saw he picture on a computer screen afterwards, I was very pleased. What an effect. It's a dog leaving a trail of fire in his or her wake:

The Trail of the Fire Hound

After our dog-frolic encounter, it was time to head back for a delicious and hearty cornbread and turkey-chili dinner, which was a very good thing to have in my belly. Talk about a long and sound sleep! I did not know it, but it would be a needed rest...

Tamalpais and New Year's Eve-Day Two

The next day dawned, the 31st, and it was off to a hiking trip. Jane and I went alone on this one, to Tamalpais, above Sausalito. But first... first a trip to a delicious and deliciously underpriced, diner. Marcie would have gobbled it up, and I certainly did. Traditional breakfast served fast and sweetly by an Asian family. Yummage.

Then, we were off! Just a 20-minute trip from her home, a jaunt over the Golden Gate bridge, Jane has the countryside and a fullon forest in her backyard. Actually, several, but let's focus on this trip's destination, hmm? Agreed? Yes! What can I say? Nothing. It was better to take pictures and a film. The pictures first:

Jane claimed she was prone to getting lost, but she was an excellent guide. Much talk of my baby here... Marcie would have marched us for the whole round trip, but we turned back for a night on the town... New Year's Eve! But first, a waterfall film. Turn on your sound...

I will be getting New Year's photos from Jason and Jane later. For now, just know that the debauchery was kept to a relative minimum but that we found a cute little place to eat with a kickass host, drank at a Beat spot, crashed a party at Bimbo's and loved us up some North Beach. But I was restless, which was a poorly timed state...

The Debauch-Day 3

Day Three was a meandering joy. The first order of business was to decide on what. Both of us suffering from stiff calves, Jane and I agreed that a trip to another out-of-doors location might be "uncalled for." Another trip, and perhaps a lighthouse then...

But for the third day, we would meet with newly minted co-conspirator
and Marcie-sanctioned, long-time Jane pal Christi. The other wonderful hostess and helper at Marcie's memorial, Christi is a true gem and a multi-talented maven.

Since my little trip is a mix of memorial, vacation and thank-you for their help, I had brought a collection of items which I felt were appropriate as gifts for Marcie's friends. Candles, candies, drink (high-end vodkas) and some more personal items were brought and given (to a great reception). We had some long discussions and champagne, food and candy.

It was a little memorial for my baby, and every gift had in it something I knew of her or the two of them. The gifts did not go unanswered. The answer, a field trip, took all day and much of the night and was thoroughly enjoyable as much for watching my two lovely companions interact as it was for sharing little bits of my Marcie's person with each other.

Hmm... I have too many pictures to share here, but I need to clear them with Jane and Christi. Women love their images only when they meet their own standards. For now, I have been admonished for not putting myself and my picture on the blog, so I will share a picture of all of us at the Japantown Benihana's.

We'll talk more of the debauch (post, talk, whatever) after I go home and have time to digest it. Suffice to say it was awesome! Benihana's was the last stop before we all paraded back to Christi's, but there is way too much before that to share for me to keep typing now...